Moderator Forums to Discuss Same Gender Marriage Ahead of Assembly
With the Triennial Assembly (8-14 July) set to discuss the subject of same-gender marriage in July, Moderator of the Synod of NSW and ACT Rev. Simon Hansford will be hosting a series of forums throughout May to address questions about the matter.
“We are seeking to hold a ‘space for grace’ – engaging in respectful conversations with one another, guided by the Spirit, sharing our stories and understanding of marriage and same-gender relationships in culturally appropriate ways,” Rev. Hansford explained.
“I have faith that by having an open and respectful discussion, we can seek to understand the viewpoints of others and perhaps be a little more open to other people’s attitudes.
“This forum is your chance to listen to the views of others and have your say respectfully and openly.”
Rev. Hansford said that the forums were not the space to debate, and settle, the issue.
“Who is right? This is not a question that we seek to answer at this forum. What we want to do is to provide a space to help all of us understand the beliefs and motives from which our (sometimes polarised) views of Same Gender Marriage spring.”
“A little understanding might go a long way.”
Rev. Hansford is encouraging Uniting Church members to read the Standing Committee Report on Marriage and Same-Gender Relationships before they attend the forums.
Same gender marriage became legal in Australia after a House of Representatives vote on 7 December 2017. Uniting Church Ministers are given legal permission to marry under the Rites of the Uniting Church in Australia, and these rites cannot be changed until the National Assembly Meeting.
Times and locations
8 May | The Willows Uniting Chuch
342 Hillsborough Rd, Warners Bay
6.30pm – 9pm*
9 May | Turramurra Uniting Church
10 Turramurra Ave, Turramurra
7pm – 9pm
15 May | Ramsgate Uniting Church
181 Rocky Point Rd, Ramsgate
9.30am – 12 noon
23 May | Wesley Uniting Church
20-22 National Circuit, Forrest ACT
5.30 – 9pm*
30 May | Centre for Ministry
16 Mason’s Drive, North Parramatta
6:30pm – 9pm*
6 June | St Stephen’s Uniting Church
197 Macquarie St, Sydney
6:30pm – 9pm*
22 June | Tamworth Southside Uniting Church
440 Goonoo Goonoo Rd, Hillvue
6:30pm – 9pm*
*These locations will be providing light refreshments.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor
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